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Procter & Gamble touts recycled paperboard content

Cincinnati based Procter & Gamble has not only joined The 100% Recycled Paperboard Alliance (New York, NY), but it's now adding the group's symbol to folding cartons of its Puffs tissues.
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FILED IN:  Sustainability  > Strategy
     

Along with the symbol will be an explanation in both English and French to satisfy label regulations in the U.S. and in Canada.

"Now Puffs packaging is using the 100-percent recycled paperboard symbol letting consumers know that P&G is committed to conserving natural resources" says Puffs brand manager Roger Vandersnick. "Also by displaying the symbol on our packaging we are letting our customers see that their recycling efforts are paying off."

Alliance chairman Paul DeNunzio of Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. was quite pleased by P&G's move. "Consumer product companies like P&G are joining our campaign because we make their brands look even better" he says. "We offer them a unique business proposition to help motivate consumer purchase of their products at retail.

"As an industry we recognize it takes much more than just education to alter consumer purchasing patterns" DeNunzio continues. "Our research shows consumers are looking for value-added benefits from their favorite brands combined with easy access to these products on retail shelves."

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Other manufacturers displaying the 100% recycled paperboard symbol on their packages include Kellogg's Kroger General Mills Nestl/ Lever Dial Frito-Lay and Hormel Foods.

The 100% Recycled Paperboard Alliance says it represents about two-thirds of U.S. producers that convert seven million tons of old paper into recycled paperboard. Members include Banner Fibreboard Caraustar Industries Smurfit-Stone Container The Newark Group Paperboard Industries Intl. Republic Paperboard and Rock-Tenn.

Biodegradable trays tested

In June hundreds of students at a Los Angeles elementary school were served lunch on five-compartment biodegradable trays from EarthShell Packaging (Baltimore MD). During the two-week test some 5 trays made from renewable resources like limestone fiber and potato starch were used.

The company is currently building a production plant together with licensee Sweetheart Cup Co. (Owings Mills MD) that will produce clamshell containers for McDonald's Big Mac(TM) sandwiches. EarthShell containers require less energy in production compared to traditional rigid packaging the company says and they are biodegradable in a marine environment.

"The environmental benefits are what prompted our initial interest and we are excited about potential future applications using environmentally sensitive products" says Debra Larson district recycling coordinator for the Los Angeles Unified School District. "Cafeteria personnel and students were very pleased with . . . the sturdiness of the tray design and the ability [of the tray] to slide easily increased efficiency in the kitchen during lunch. We are interested in conducting further pilot studies at the secondary school level."

Montreal tests PET bottle recovery

Through Nov. 5 tourist attraction Old Port of Montreal will be the site of an ambitious polyethylene terephthalate bottle and aluminum can recovery project. The effort is sponsored by a public/private consortium that includes the Environment & Plastics Industry Council (EPIC) a unit of the Canadian Plastics Industry Assn. and the National Assn. for Plastic Container Recovery (NAPCOR).

Nine stainless-steel three-container recycling stations called "Info Boxes" will be positioned so visitors can recycle PET bottles and aluminum cans while permitting disposal of trash and food waste.

"We always felt that the Info Boxes concept would offer an interesting vehicle for the efficient and economical recovery of small bottles used outside the home that are not typically recycled" says Dominique Potelle of Amcor-Twinpak who heads both NAPCOR and EPIC in the province of Quebec. "But we had to find the ideal location as well as partners interested in experimenting with this concept. With more than five million visitors each year the Old Port has to be the very best location to carry out this recycling project."

A recycling company in Quebec will analyze the volume source and types of containers recovered and will also compile data into a final report. The report is expected to be useful to municipalities that are considering recycling operations for parks and public places.

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